My dear Sir: Washington, January 9, 1865.
The paper, relating to Louisiana, submitted to the Judiciary Committee of the Senate, by Gen. Banks, is herewith returned. The whole of it is in accordance with my general impression, and I believe it to be true; but much the larger part is beyond my absolute knowledge, as in it's nature it must be. All the statements which lie within the range of my knowledge are strictly true; and I thinkPage 207 of nothing material which has been omitted. Even before Gen. Banks went to Louisiana I was anxious for the loyal people there to move for re-organization and restoration of proper practical relations with the Union; and when he, at last, expressed his decided conviction that the thing was practicable, I directed him to give his official co-operation to effect it. On the subject, I have sent and received many letters to and from Gen. Banks and many other persons. These letters, as you remember, were shown to you yesterday, as they will be again, if you desire.
If I shall neither take sides nor argue, will it be out of place for me to make what I think is the true statement of your question as to the proposed Louisiana Senators?
``Can Louisiana be brought into proper practical relations with the Union, sooner, by admitting or by rejecting the proposed Senators?''  Yours truly A LINCOLN